I am looking for some inspiration or someone to talk me out of this. I have my Active.com registry almost finished for IM Louisville. I just can't seem to force myself to pull the trigger. I want to do an IM but I am having my doubts as to whether or not I can handle it. I have done alot of triathlons over the last couple of years, but nothing longer than an Oly. I've never done a half IM or even a full marathon. This is what I am tentatively thinking for next year:
Washington DC Marathon
Obviously with appropriate IM level training in between.
The question I have is whether or not this is realistic or are my eyes bigger than my stomach? Is IMKY a good first race?
Words of caution, advice or inspiration are all appreciated.
You should do it!
I'm also planning on the Kinetic Half but I dont think the informaiton on the date or registration happens until December.
I sure hope LOU is a good first IM - I'm doing it in 2011 as my first :). Depending on your running background, you might want to rethink doing the DC Marathon in the spring. It's a great race, but it'll take you some time to recover that might impede your IM training. A lot of IM vets will tell you that you don't need to run an open marathon in IM preparation. Good luck!
I cheered on my friends at Louisville in 2008. My general observations of the race:
* Time-trial start makes the swim less of a contact sport and far more manageable (Lake Placid had 2,600 participants this year all trying to swim in the space place at the same time!)
* Non-wetsuit swim
* Transition close to the swim exit, but about 1/2 mile walk to the swim start
* Bike course is rolling and open to traffic (more traffic than I would like while riding 112 miles)
* Fast last few miles biking back into town after the double loop
* HOT and humid
* Nice finish line festival; however much of the city seems oblivious to the race (the Ironman somewhat dominates Lake Placid and Madison)
Overall you need to be prepared for the non-wetsuit swim, hills on the bike, and the heat. With all that said, I may still sign up for 2011.
Do it! Otherwise you will be asking yourself the same question year after year as to whether you are ready or not. It is an incredible journey, one that you will not fully appreciate until you see that finish line and they call out your name "Steve xxx, from Washington DC, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!"
Running a stand alone marathon and running an Ironman marathon are two different things. They are totally different races even though they share the same distance. You do not need to run a standalone marathon in order to be ready for the Ironman marathon.
If you put in the training, you will be an Ironman. Don't over think it. Just sign up and earn your stripe through the training.
Make sure you have a bucket nearby when you are about to hit that confirm button.
I would say go for it -- but go in with your eyes wide open about this. It's a fine balance between training more than you have before and not going crazy from doing little else from training. From now until August, you'll have a lot going on with training, so your non-athletic life will suffer.
Nat'l Marathon / Kinetic / IMKY should have enough separation so you recover, but it's a big leap from Olys to 1/2, and from 1/2 to full is just as big a leap, if not bigger. If you think you've got it in you, prove yourself right and go for it!
One thing to think about as far as the National Marathon is whether to race it or use it as a trainer. This will depend on your running ability. My suggestion would be to use it as a pacer race. Meaning, that you try to run it easy for the first 20 miles (a bit slower than your goal pace), then see where your legs are and go from there. Key thing is to avoid injury.
I did Louisville 2 years after I joined this club. It's entirely possible.
Thanks everyone for the good words and advice. At this point, I am thinking maybe I should just try out a half early in the season and see how that goes before I launch into the full IM. I will aim for the Kinetic, and if I think making the leap is advisable, or even doable for a Clydesdale like me, I will try IMLou if general entry is still open (doubtful) or think about doing a non-m-dot race later in the season (Beach to Battleship, Cheseapeakeman). Or if I really wanted to hear Mike Reilly say that I was an Ironman, I could go completely nuts and think about St. George in 2012. Or if I change my mind, and Tuan's post especially has me thinking about it, I can sign up tomorrow!
Thanks again, all.
Half IM and the full thing are two different races. I don't think that I am alone when I say that I suffer more from a HIM than the full. Your approach, pacing, and mentality are different. Just go ask anyone who has done Eagleman this year and an IM as to which one caused them more suffering.
Kev7 above did both .... Ask him which one hurt him more. I did both also and will tell you that my IM was Disneyland compared to my experience at Eagleman this year.
Except for perhaps the last few miles on the Ironman's marathon, I suffer far more in a Half Ironman. Last year's Eagleman was true suffering!
There will be a decent sized group of us down at IM Lou with a few of us (self included) doing it as our first. That being said, there will be a few of us training together in the middle of the day all summer so that we can intentionally suffer (I mean acclimate to the heat) so you will certainly have the support. Sounds to me like the only things you need to resolve within yourself are 1. do you actually want to do an ironman? and 2. do you have the time to train? If yes and yes then fork up the money, and join us. The more the merrier!
A Half Ironman doesn't have to hurt so much if you use it as a hard training day. I think it's important to have some experience racing the longer distance to figure out your nutrition plan. My first HIM was miserable but I enjoyed every one after that first one.
If you decide to sign up, then I suggest not doing the National Marathon and adding a second Half Ironman. Kinetic is a great first HIM and another one in July would be perfect (Musselman is the only one that I can think of right now but I'm sure there are others).
I think Hilary's post above is great advise. One other thing to take into account when deciding if you should do Louisville, is how do you handle the heat? This race tends to be very hot and humid, which ask anyone that has done Eagleman, can be miserable.